Asbury’s origins date back to 1926, when members of the local Methodist Church purchased the Rolling Acres Dairy Farm. Despite plans that called for a place to “eat, sleep, and rock,” as in a rocking chair(!), early residents kept busy with chores, gathering eggs and helping tend to the farm animals and gardens.
Now, 92 years later, the farm is back but with a modern twist that matches the evolution our campus and mission have undergone. Gigi Goin is Asbury’s first farmer-in-residence, managing a one-acre crop farm using no-till farming and other sustainable practices. So far, the farm is providing organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs for the kitchens of Kindley Assisted Living and Wilson Health Care Center. During its first year, the farm produced more than 1,000 pounds of leafy greens, tomatoes, and fruits. The farm began in 2017 thanks to the joint efforts of resident Tom McIllrath and the Asbury Foundation. In 2019, Asbury Methodist Village began composting all of its food waste, and will use some of that to nourish the crop farm.
Raised in Trinidad, Gigi helped raise avocado, guava, pineapple, and more in her grandmother’s garden. After spending 18 years in human resources, Gigi’s love for the land re-emerged and led her to classes in farming, and eventually, a farm internship in North Carolina.
“I am so happy to be at Asbury, where my organic vision is welcomed,” says Gigi, who lives in the Trott Apartments.”Everywhere I go on campus, residents are so warm and welcoming and so open to my goal of naturally growing nutrient-dense food.”